Wes McDowell’s Explosive Digital Marketing Tips for 2023

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Wes McDowell's 2023 Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

We’re two months into 2023, which means businesses’ and nonprofits’ digital marketing plans are likely well underway. But with the new year comes new marketing tactics to keep in mind. In the digital marketing industry, there are always fresh strategies to try and trends to be aware of. Thanks to Wes McDowell, one of our favorite marketing experts and YouTubers, we’ve got insights about a few of the best digital marketing tips to stay at the cutting edge for 2023. 

In one of his recent videos, Wes outlines “5 Explosive Digital Marketing Tips for 2023,” touching on key players in the digital marketing landscape. From content creation to email marketing, search engine marketing to paid social media, with a little Google Ads teaser (spoiler alert!) at the end, Wes’ video offers invaluable insights and actionable tips regardless of your marketing approach. For this blog, though, we’ll highlight the three buckets most relevant to our service mix. We hope these strategies will birth some new ideas to help you remain competitive and grow your business.

Content Marketing: Short-Form Video

First and foremost, Wes explains that short-form vertical videos are here to stay. TikTok started the craze by showcasing its immersive, mobile-first video interface at the beginning of the pandemic and, shortly after, other social media platforms such as Meta (Facebook & Instagram Reels) and YouTube (Shorts) followed suit. 

In his video, Wes forecasts that vertical short-form videos are instrumental in catalyzing higher engagement and brand recall. While you might think, ‘’Hey Intellitonic, isn’t TikTok mostly for kids?” that’s actually not the case—more than half of TikTok’s user base is over the age of 30. And by cross-posting on Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram, you’re guaranteed to reach a more mature audience.

Now for the treasure trove of tactics:

  1. How “short” is short-form video? Since you’re competing for people’s time and attention, videos need only be somewhere between 3 and 15 seconds long, 30 seconds max. (Wes’ video recommends 7-30 seconds, but depending on your approach, 3-15 second videos are sure to get views.) 
  2. To grow your audience exponentially, studies show that daily posting can increase follows up to 850x compared to 1-2 posts per week. 
  3. Two keys to achieving the mass production of video posts needed to keep up with the daily posting cadence:
    • Batching content: Set aside a few hours a day, 1-2x per week, to create all of your content for the following week. You can work on scripts on one day and film and edit on the other. This will help you stay organized and on top of your posting schedule.

      Here are some subjects and ideas Wes dropped in his video to get you started:

You can also try out different content styles such as:

    • Second, Wes recommends focusing on quantity over quality. This isn’t to say that quality content isn’t valuable, but in a digital world where users value authenticity, production values are a lower priority. It’s also OK if not every single one of your posts is a hit. The joy of batching content means there’s always another post to roll out, ready to make a splash.

Search Engine Marketing: Google’s Helpful Content Update

In December 2022, Google released an update called “helpful content” that places a higher value on pages that answer user questions completely and accurately. The goal is to ensure that people searching on Google get exactly what they’re looking for—and if you’re not providing that information quickly or clearly enough, you won’t rank as high as your competitors on search engines. 

In an interview Wes has with SEO expert Ricky Resler, we learn that this update is all about user intent—getting back to content written for people rather than the algorithm. If someone searches for an answer to a question, your page will rank if your content completely answers that question (the inclusion of a helpful call-to-action will fuel your sales funnel).

A good rule of thumb: On a sales page, be sure to include specs about your product/service, pricing and any FAQs; for your homepage, consider the relevant questions people might type into a search bar, and then create content that answers those questions. Keyword research and search queries act as a great jumping-off point for this type of content. In both cases, the goal is to cover all bases so people don’t bounce from your website to keep looking for the answers they seek. 

Google has been updating its algorithms for years, but this latest update is all about providing users with more helpful content—and that means making sure your content answers their questions thoroughly and concisely. When writing content in the spirit of this Google update, it’s better to go deep and narrow rather than shallow and broad.

Social Media Marketing: User-Generated Content & Influencers

As for social media marketing, it’s harder than ever to get people talking about your brand these days—but it’s easier than ever before to get them talking about themselves. With Instagram’s launch of “user-generated” posts in 2020, a huge opportunity was created for brands to convert video testimonials and personal reviews into high-value, trust-building advertising content. In fact, Wes shares a survey revealing that user-generated content now beats out businesses’ organic posts for audience trust by 61% to 38%.

The rise of user-generated content has also created a whole new subcategory within the marketing industry: social influencers. And while some might write off social influencing as being too great of an expense, it can be a surprisingly affordable way to build brand credibility while showing off your products in action.

Enter the creator marketplace: This is a place to connect with influencers from all over the world to help you with creative advertising. In Wes’ video, he speaks specifically about the TikTok Creator Marketplace, though creator marketplaces can be found on other social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook (Brand Collabs Manager) and YouTube (Brand Connect). 

Some pointers for navigating the TikTok Creator Marketplace (or any creator marketplace, for that matter):

    1. Utilize any filters the marketplace offers. On TikTok, you can filter creators by creator or audience, country or region, followers, average views, engagement rate, and even by topics the influencers focus on. These filters will help you find the ideal creator to collaborate with your brand.
    2. Focus on finding nano-influencers or influencers that have 1,000-10,000 followers. They’ve been proven to have higher engagement rates (and cheaper service costs) than their mid- or mega-influencer counterparts. You can also contract with multiple influencers to diversify your content and audience while increasing your probability of virality. 
    3. Check out the creators marketplace profile. You can see their analytics, including average views, engagements, reach, follower growth rate and other metrics. From there, you can click through to fill out a campaign proposal to get the ball rolling.
    4. Turn influencer posts into paid ads. Putting some money behind native user-generated content guarantees more impressions and a higher likelihood of engagement and return. Just pick out the post with the most organic engagement and, as Wes says in the video, “Throw a little money behind it to push it out even further.”


One defining characteristic of digital marketing is that it exists in a state of constant flux. Hopefully these tips from Wes’ video have sparked some ideas for how you can harness those changes to advance your 2023 digital marketing strategy.

Moving forward, it’s vital that we keep our eyes open to everything going on around us, while remaining focused on our goals and continuing to build great content that engages users and meets their needs. Be prepared, get creative, and your marketing strategy should flourish.